Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral is a story about one of Bulacan's finest generals. It has a running time of 150-160mins, it is a lengthy movie that lacks the fire, and shock and awe value of Heneral Luna, but that doesn't mean it is monotonous --very far from it. While we were watching, we did not notice the passing of time and ,like other good movies, you know it is about to end but you will be asking for more.
Paulo Avelino's portrayal of the young general is not as stellar as John Arcilla's Luna, but it fits him like a glove. In some moments in the movie, especially in the first acts, you will feel like he does not need to play the role; it appears like he just goes in there, be himself and just delivers the lines. Also, the good thing about it is that he operated on the same level as his co-artists, whereas Arcilla seemed to have overpowered everyone.
The characters have excellent chemistry; if you have seen the first movie, the reprised roles of some of the actors will give you a plethora of emotions. Alejandrino (Alvin Anson), Jose and Manuel Bernal(Arthur Acuña), Miong (Mon Confiado), Pule(Epy Quizon), Lt.Garcia (Ronnie Lazaro), and the crowd favorite Rusca (Archie Alemaña) showed up with varying lengths of exposure-- all of which are important in the story telling.
Carlo Aquino (Vicente Enriquez) and Arron Villaflor(Joven)provided solid supporting-roles, along with the girls Empress Schuck and Gwen Zamora
The movie is not mainly about national pride or about saving the country. It is reflexive rather than expressive. It is about the emotions, the psych and what really goes on inside a person that is about to take on a Herculean task and might be asked to give the ultimate sacrifice. Goyo's demeanor swings back and forth from being a kid to being a general and vice versa, from devising plans for battle to womanizing, both of which were foreshadowed by Pule (Quizon) in one of his dialogs. The story also mirrors the relationship we have had with the Americans in the past decades which is fact,IMO.
The pace of the movie is quick (it may be dragging for some, but not for me) as it jumps from scene to scene to establish the whole situation the country was in at the time. The dialogs are witty and catchy, and unlike period dramas (hello Bagani!);it is not cheesy and it is very easy to understand. The locations are also excellent but the fabricated houses are a little distracting. The shots give you the impression that it is from an older era without too much filtering. Cinematography is on a very high level. The panoramic shots are breathtaking. In this movie, I was expecting something as wonderful as the "Reminiscing Scene" in Heneral Luna; I was a bit disappointed, but I think the aerial shots of Mount Tirad during the trenching will do.
And just like in traditional Tarog fashion, scoring made this movie a lot better than it actually is. With subpar scoring, I would give this movie a 7 but in it's totality now, I give it a 9. Everything gets amplified by good music.
This is a must-see movie. A movie that has a beautiful story and message to tell. A movie that inspires you to think instead of making your senses numb.
Please support! Let us encourage the Filipino film makers to keep doing excellent movies like this and quick --- the third installment promises to be another epic as we embark on a different period in our history with one of the most interesting and charismatic president we 've had, Pres.Manuel Quezon--- 3yrs is just too much of a wait!
In a historical perspective, I have lost my history thinking cap and just decided to appreciate this movie as an artwork. The fictional characters like Joven Hernando (Arron Villaflor) and Lt.Ruiz(Ronnie Lazaro) are neatly inserted into the story that it was hard to distinguish fact and fiction.